The Foundation is excited to be the new host of Taste of Carmel, Hamilton County’s largest indoor tasting event, and a favorite event of Carmel Clay Schools parents and teachers. Since 2002, the Orchard Park Elementary (OPE) Parent Teacher Organization has presented Taste of Carmel; however, with the closing of OPE this May,  OPE invited CEF to carry on this beloved tradition. A unanimous vote by CEF’s board of directors sealed the deal!

Taste of Carmel will be held in Spring 2022 and will feature local restaurants, breweries, and wineries showcasing their specialties. All 15 CCS schools will be represented at the event and proceeds from sponsorships, ticket sales, and auction items will enable CEF to provide teacher grants, community programming, and scholarships.  

If you would like to be involved in the planning of Taste of Carmel, please complete this short survey to share your interests. To learn more about sponsorship or vendor opportunities, contact Jennifer Penix at of 2021 Scholarships Presented in MayCEF Scholarship Logo
CEF was founded in 1966 for the purpose of awarding scholarships to Carmel High School graduates. As the Foundation has grown, so has the scholarship program. Nearly 90 unique scholarships are funded by community donors and represent educators, athletes, scholars, performers, school and civic leaders, and families who have invested in a scholarship to promote the life-long learning of Carmel High School seniors.Jonathan Byers Award RecipientsOn May 20, 2021, 103 scholarships, totaling over $116,000, were presented to CHS Class of 2021 graduates. Many scholarship donors were at the event to present their award and to meet the student recipients. Pictured are Linda Wheeler and Michael Byers who presented Nolan Wright with the Jonathan A. Byers Athletic Scholarship and Tristan Barr with the Jonathan A. Byers Academic Scholarship. Jonathan, a Carmel Clay student, passed away in a car accident at the age of 15 in 1998. He is remembered as “always having a smile and willing to help anyone”. His family established these scholarships to honor his dream of becoming a doctor, as well as his love for baseball. 

Click here to view a full list of recipients, photos, and a video of the award ceremony.  CEF Awarded $77,500 to Support CCSCommunity partners have invested in CEF with the award of three grants to support initiatives aimed at pandemic recovery. A $20,000 Duke Energy Foundation grant will support Carmel Clay Schools (CCS) summer school programming to ensure second graders are at their appropriate reading level when they return to school in the fall. A  $2,500 Indiana Youth Institute grant will engage CCS family members as partners in their child’s education. The United Way of Central Indiana awarded CEF a $55,000 grant to support a 2021-2022 district wide campaign focused on cultivating a climate centered on positivity, growth, and support for students, teachers, and families. Funding will also be allocated to establishing a CEF mental health support fund to aid families who are underinsured in attaining resources and support for their child. 

Duke grant presentation
Pictured: Tara Ascioti, CEF Executive Board; Mark LeBarr, Duke Energy; Jennifer Penix, CEF Executive Director; Dr. Michael Beresford, CCS SuperintendentWelcome Leslie Teskey and Lisa HansenLeslie and Lisa are CEF’s newest members of our Board of Directors, both bringing diverse experiences and leadership to the Foundation. Leslie Teskey and Lisa Hansen

Leslie Teskey is a commercial real estate broker with Cresa and is active in a variety of organizations including Indy Runners and IndyCREW.  Leslie has children in Carmel Clay Schools.

Lisa Hansen, also a parent of kids in Carmel schools,is an employment-based immigration attorney and has been active in school, civic, and professional associations.

We look forward to their insight and expertise!  If you are interested in joining the CEF Board of Directors, or in serving on our grant, scholarship, or fundraising committees, please contact  Commitment varies and all backgrounds are welcome. Celebrating Great Music and Great Ideas!CEF Showcase EmceesThe 35th Annual CEF Musical Showcase was presented virtually this year and was a huge success! Families tuned in near and far to watch a medley of choral and instrumental performances featuring over 600 elementary and middle school students. Thank you to all who donated to CEF during the event and to Fanning Howey for matching those donations!  A special thank you to Elsa Bray, Hallie Reeves, and Max Kim, CHTV students who served as our emcees- they kept the show running smoothly!Remember those Great Idea! Grants CEF awarded to CCS teachers back in March? Here are a few of them already in action!  Be sure to follow @CarmelEdFdn on Twitter to see more kids and teachers learning and leading!  A full list of spring grants awarded is hereCEF Grants 2021Your Donation MattersCEF relies on donations and support from community partners to deliver programs and services that benefit more than 16,500 Carmel Clay students.

Please consider extending your donation by signing up for monthly or quarterly giving to enable CEF to further our reach through additional grants and programming.  Sign up is easy at the link below.  Donations are tax-exempt. 
 Support Carmel Clay Students with a DonationAnother easy way to support public education is by purchasing the Specialty Education License Plate when you renew your Indiana license plates- CEF receives $25 for each plate purchased or renewed!.  Indiana BMV